Show cover of The Business of Meetings

The Business of Meetings

If you are an independent business owner in the meeting and event space, this podcast is for you! Your host, Eric Rozenberg has created this show to bring you strategies, tips, and tactics to help your business grow. With more than 20 years in the event industry and planning events for Fortune 100 companies, Eric is prepared to let you in on the insider tactics so you can be successful too!

Tracks

214: Strength in Business: A Woman Entrepreneur's Journey through Bodybuilding, AI, and AV Event Mastery with Anca Platon Trifan
The Business of Meetings – Episode 214 – Strength in Business: A Woman Entrepreneur's Journey through Bodybuilding, AI, and AV Event Mastery with Anca Platon Trifan   We are delighted to welcome Anca Platon Trifan as our guest today.  Anca is an entrepreneur and a bodybuilder and she joins us today to dive into AI and AV production events in our industry and discuss bodybuilding. She is a remarkable individual who is motivated, determined, and truly understands the principles of discipline and excellence.  Stay tuned for her insights and experiences. Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Anca Platon Trifan   On LinkedIn Instagram Events Demystified Podcast
45:38 4/16/24
213: Balancing Acts: Navigating Marriage, Entrepreneurship, and Mental Well-Being with Chantel Cohen
The Business of Meetings – Episode 213 - Balancing Acts: Navigating Marriage, Entrepreneurship, and Mental Well-Being with Chantel Cohen Today, we are delighted to welcome Chantel Cohen as our guest. Chantel is the Founder and CEO of CWC Coaching & Therapy, where she provides coaching services and therapy for entrepreneurs. She is on a mission to empower entrepreneurs of color, women, business owners, and funding duos, helping them build the lives they have always dreamed of. Several years ago, Chantel was named one of the top three marriage counselors in the metro Atlanta region. Join us to hear her inspiring story and learn from the insights she shares today. Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Check out Eric’s Website Connect with Chantel Cohen Chantel Cohen-CWC Coaching and Therapy Chantel Cohen on LinkedIn Reach out to Chantel via her assistant, Lexi. (470)-296-3090    
33:02 4/9/24
212: How to Hold People Accountable Without All the Drama with Jennifer Long
We are thrilled to have Jennifer Long, the CEO of Own Up®, joining us today. Jen is a certified master coach and the author of the #1 Amazon bestselling book, OwnUp! How to Hold People Accountable Without All the Drama.  Jen is an expert in setting up accountability practices within organizations, which has been invaluable for companies seeking tangible improvements. In our conversation today, we dive into leadership, accountability, and guiding principles for psychological safety. Jen also shares many concrete and actionable tips you can apply directly to your business. Stay tuned for more! Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Jennifer Long On her website Email Jen: JenLong@own-up.com  LinkedIn Jen’s book, OwnUp! How to Hold People Accountable Without All the Drama is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or most anyplace else books are sold.  
36:58 4/2/24
211: Beyond the Booking: A Record Year in Hospitality with Insights from an Industry Titan with Antonio Ducceschi
The Business of Meetings – Episode 211 – Beyond the Booking: A Record Year in Hospitality with Insights from an Industry Titan with Antonio Ducceschi We are delighted to have Antonio Ducceschi, the Chief Commercial Officer of the Starhotels Group, joining us on the show today. With his extensive experience in the hospitality industry and visionary approach to leadership, Antonio sheds light on the current state of the hotel industry and on what is happening within the meetings and events industry. He also shares his career journey and provides valuable insights on how businesses in the industry can effectively prepare for the foreseeable future.   Stay tuned for today’s captivating conversation with Antonio Ducceschi. Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website Connect with Antonio Ducceschi On LinkedIn Starhotels
36:19 3/26/24
210: AI Unleashed: Transforming Meetings & Events with Entrepreneurial Vision with Alexa Berube and Heather Stupi
We are thrilled to have two exceptional entrepreneurs joining us on the show today!  Alexa Berube and Heather Stupi are the brilliant minds who founded Reposite, a company that has been revolutionizing the meetings and events industry with AI. Get ready to explore their inspiring journeys and the remarkable strides they have made as we dive in and uncover the insights and innovations behind their success!   Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website   Connect with Alexa Berube and Heather Stupi Reposite Alexa on LinkedIn Heather on LinkedIn  
37:08 3/19/24
209: Navigating Solitude: Five Strategies for Entrepreneurs with Eric Rozenberg
The Business of Meetings – Episode 209 – Navigating Solitude: Five Strategies for Entrepreneurs with Eric Rozenberg  Have you ever had to make an important business decision and felt very alone?  Owning and running a business is exciting. However, many entrepreneurs feel cut off and lonely- especially when facing challenging situations.  Today, I share five actionable ideas you can apply immediately to reduce your isolation and gain all the support you need to grow and manage your business. Stay tuned for my ideas and recommendations for overcoming the solitude of entrepreneurship. Building Your Advisory Board One effective way to combat the solitude of entrepreneurship is to establish an advisory board. Drawing from my experience in leading organizations, I understand the value of surrounding yourself with trusted individuals who offer diverse perspectives and professional expertise. Your advisory board will be a valuable resource for guidance, allowing you to make informed decisions and feel supported while navigating all your business challenges. Engaging with Professional Organizations Actively involving yourself in professional organizations like MPI (Meeting Professionals International) will allow you learning and networking opportunities and help you grow as an individual. By volunteering for these communities, you can gain helpful insights, forge lasting connections, and contribute to the advancement of your industry.  I have experienced the benefits of participating in professional organizations to combat my feelings of isolation and enhance my professional development. Prioritizing Mental Health and Serendipitous Connections I truly understand the importance of mental health. So, I encourage you, my fellow entrepreneurs, to liberate yourselves from the limitations of your workspaces and welcome any unexpected encounters. Participating in physical activities, connecting with others socially, and attending conferences create an environment conducive to creativity and personal development.  Broadening your experiences and embracing new ideas will help you combat your feelings of solitude and become more creative in all your future endeavors. Leveraging Mastermind Groups Mastermind groups offer platforms for entrepreneurs to collaborate, share their experiences, and seek advice from their peers. When you join mastermind groups, participate in their discussions, and support your fellow members, you can tap into a wealth of collective knowledge and resources.  I firmly believe in the importance of actively participating in mastermind groups to help one another grow and provide support when tackling the challenges we often face as entrepreneurs. Seeking Guidance from Coaches and Mentors I encourage all entrepreneurs to seek guidance from coaches, advisors, or mentors with relevant expertise and experience. By leveraging their insights and gaining accountability from these mentors, you can accelerate your development, personally and professionally. It is essential to learn from those who have succeeded and recognize the invaluable guidance mentors can offer for navigating the entrepreneurial journey. Conclusion My five strategies for combating the solitude of entrepreneurship- surrounding yourself with supportive networks, engaging with professional communities, prioritizing your mental well-being, participating in collaborative groups, and seeking guidance from experienced mentors, have helped me to overcome many business challenges, grow personally, and thrive in my entrepreneurial pursuits. I have no doubt they will also work wonders for you! Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website  
11:42 3/12/24
208: Incentive Travel: Driving Business Growth with Stephanie Harris
The Business of Meetings – Episode 208 – Incentive Travel: Driving Business Growth with Stephanie Harris   We are delighted to welcome Stephanie Harris, President of the Incentive Research Foundation, as our guest for today's show. Stephanie brings a wealth of knowledge to our discussion today. Join us as we dive into the impact of incentives, focusing in particular on non-cash options like incentive travel. Stephanie’s Journey Stephanie's professional journey has been anything but linear. She began her career as a strategist for advertising and sales promotion agencies, mainly working within the client categories of shoes and shopping. After over a decade in the agency world, she transitioned to the client side, joining Merits to work on their internal marketing agency, despite knowing little about incentives and motivation then. However, her passion for the incentive world flourished during her tenure there, encompassing everything from program development to travel and gift card rewards. Her expertise caught the attention of American Express, leading to a strategic alliance role where she gained invaluable global experience, exploring diverse cultures and their attitudes toward incentives. Four years ago, she began leading the Incentive Research Foundation.  The Economic Impact of Incentive Travel Stephanie discusses the challenges in measuring the economic impact of incentive travel, highlighting a study by the Events Industry Council, showing a 1.6 trillion dollar impact on the economy. She explains that although it is difficult to accurately measure the impact of incentives beyond travel, such as gift cards and merchandise spending, she has seen that organizations consistently employing incentives tend to outperform their peers, making incentives a competitive differentiator. Strategic Use of Incentives to Motivate Workforce  Exploring the evolving reasons for using incentives to motivate the workforce, Stephanie has noticed that they are increasingly seen as essential for building organizational culture, particularly in light of how the pandemic influenced remote work. Stephanie shares insights from the Incentive Travel Index, highlighting how leadership perceives incentives as essential for increasing organizational success and retaining top talent. Personalized Experiences and Authenticity in Incentive Travel Looking at the importance of personalized experiences and authenticity in incentive travel, Stephanie emphasizes the need to tailor incentive destinations to the preferences and psychographics of the participants. She explains how unique and authentic experiences foster employee motivation and loyalty, with organizations increasingly seeking to surprise winners with exclusivity in their incentive destinations. Prioritizing Mental Health and Wellness in Events: Stephanie shares personal anecdotes highlighting the importance of prioritizing mental health and wellness in the events industry. She discusses the impact of the pandemic on remote work and the need for face-to-face interactions to combat loneliness and improve mental health, looking at strategies like incorporating breaks, offering structured networking opportunities, and designing programs with wellness in mind. Role of AI in Event Planning Looking at the role of artificial intelligence in event planning, Stephanie highlights how AI can streamline tasks, generate content, and offer valuable insights for event organizers. She encourages industry professionals to embrace artificial intelligence as a helpful tool for enhancing efficiency and innovation in event management, emphasizing the need for hands-on exploration and experimentation with AI technologies. Bio: Stephanie Harris Stephanie Harris is President of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF). In her role, she directs the strategy and efforts of the IRF, which funds and promotes research and education to increase understanding, effective use, and benefits of non-cash incentives for businesses globally.  Before joining the IRF, Harris was part of the American Express Meetings & Events leadership team, leading global event strategy, thought leadership, and marketing. She started her career in incentives with Maritz, where she was VP of Brand Marketing & Strategy. Harris currently serves on the board of the Events Industry Council and has served on the boards of the MPI Foundation, and Incentive Federation. Harris resides in St. Louis with her husband, has four (mostly grown & on their own) children, and a Labrador Retriever. Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website Connect with Stephanie Harris The Incentive Research Foundation Stephanie Harris on LinkedIn
41:37 3/5/24
206: Eventful Balance: Mastering Wellness in the World of Meetings and Events with David T. Stevens
I am thrilled to have David T. Stevens joining me today!    David holds many different certifications and has ranked on the leaderboard of CrossFit for EventProf for many years.  In our conversation today, he explains how to improve your health in meetings, when engaging in projects, or completing daily tasks. He also highlights the physical and mental demands of event management, exploring the importance of personal wellness routines and making a gradual shift toward a healthier lifestyle.   Tune in to hear more!   Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website   Connect with David T. Stevens On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram The Return on Wellness Podcast on YouTube      
36:59 2/20/24
205: The Generalist's Advantage with Joe Curcillo
We are delighted to engage in a conversation with Joe Curcillo today.  Joe is a man of multiple talents and phenomenal versatility. He has worn many hats, from being a lawyer, engineer, and prosecuting attorney, to a judge, private investigator, and mentalist. He has also just written a book called The Generalist’s Advantage. Joe joins us today to discuss what it means to be a generalist and explain how a multidisciplinary approach can enhance your skills and business.  Stay tuned for Joe Curcillo's remarkable insights! Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Joe Curcillo On his website The Generalist’s Advantage The Multitudes Podcast Joe Curcillo on LinkedIn
42:54 2/13/24
204: Digital Influence Unleashed: Haggai Klorman on Mastering Word-of-Mouth and Navigating Social Media and TikTok with Haggai Klorman
We are thrilled to have Haggai Klorman joining us today!  Haggai is a tech entrepreneur and EO. He has consulted with and built social media and word-of-mouth campaigns for major brands, including L'Oreal, Revlon, and Unilever, and has advised Bain Capital Private Equity. He also owns a digital business card company. In our conversation today, we discuss technology, the pros and cons of TikTok, and what Haggai is currently doing. Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Haggai Klorman LinkedIn Kardz.Biz Hate Checker  
62:59 2/6/24
203: The Journey of Belonging: An Immigrant's Path to Nine-Figure Success with Dan Berger
The Business of Meetings – Episode 203 - The Journey of Belonging: An Immigrant's Path to Nine-Figure Success with Dan Berger  We are thrilled to engage in a discussion with Dan Berger today!  Dan is an industry legend and a true entrepreneur! After a successful exit a few years back, he is now writing a book called The Quest, where he focuses on the theme of belonging.  In our conversation today, we dive into Dan's journey, discussing entrepreneurship, the post-sale depression that often happens after selling a business, and the need to belong. We also explore emotional intelligence and how to apply it.  Stay tuned for some valuable insights from Dan's experiences. Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Dan Berger Website LinkedIn Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance by Bob Buford  
39:40 1/30/24
202: Voice of the Innocents: Lori Cohen's Battle Against Child and Human Trafficking
The Business of Meetings – Episode 202 – Voice of the Innocents: Lori Cohen's Battle Against Child and Human Trafficking We are honored today to speak with a remarkable individual at the forefront of a child-protection organization.  Lori Cohen is the CEO of PACT (Protect All Children from Trafficking), the leading policy organization in the nation on child sex trafficking. She has been instrumental in driving change and safeguarding the most vulnerable within our society.  PACT shines as a beacon of hope for combating one of the gravest challenges we face today. Join us to gain a deeper understanding of the essential work that PACT is doing. Lori’s Journey Lori’s journey into combating human trafficking began unexpectedly during her legal career. Initially focused on public interest work and supporting domestic violence victims, she found herself immersed in an entirely different arena when she began working with immigrant women facing abuse. Their harrowing stories of coercion and exploitation led her to discover that her clients were victims of human trafficking, a reality they often did not even recognize for themselves. That led Lori to delve into the complexities of trafficking and question the failure of the system to identify those cases. Fueled by a deep sense of responsibility, she transitioned from legal advocacy to comprehensive support, creating programs that addressed the needs of trafficking victims beyond legal assistance. Her passion for this cause was ignited by the tangible suffering of individuals seeking help in her office, compelling her to advocate tirelessly for those who could not escape their traumatic pasts. Joining ECPAT USA and the Evolution to PACT While representing her clients, Lori turned to ECPAT USA for information about trafficking. ECPAT USA has high-quality materials that helped her understand the complexities of trafficking. Years later, when the founder of ECPAT USA retired, Lori felt indebted to the organization and saw an opportunity to contribute her first-hand knowledge to their cause. The name change from ECPAT USA to PACT (Protect All Children from Trafficking) reflects their evolving mission and dedication to preventing exploitation. Raising Awareness in the US  Lori explains that trafficking is not just an overseas issue, as it is also prevalent in the United States. She acknowledges that it can be uncomfortable to discuss the topic but stresses the importance of businesses embracing education and training to create safer environments. Taking Action and Free Online Training Lori encourages listeners to take advantage of free online training offered by PACT, developed in collaboration with the American Hotel and Lodging Association and Marriott. The training, which aims to educate hotel staff on identifying and preventing trafficking, emphasizes that recognizing red flags and reporting suspicious activities can make a significant impact in protecting vulnerable individuals.  Challenges of Intervention  Untrained civilians should avoid intervening in trafficking situations as they could face the risk of armed traffickers and the unknown presence of others. Lori explains that victims must choose the right time to escape, so she cautions untrained individuals to avoid jeopardizing their safety.  Training and Data Tracking  The training program incorporates anti-cheat measures and pre/post-training surveys to ensure effectiveness. Data tracking on the website includes information on user logins and completion rates.  Practical Signs of Trafficking Lori highlights the importance of dispelling myths surrounding trafficking. Instead, the focus should be on practical signs, like cash payments, lack of luggage, or inappropriate clothing, to identify potential trafficking situations. She also suggests using hotel video cameras to monitor suspicious activity discreetly. Testimonials and Awareness  It is often challenging to obtain testimonials from organizations that have successfully identified and intervened in trafficking cases. Brands are reluctant to disclose such incidents because they fear getting singled out. However, efforts are underway to find creative ways to encourage organizations to come forward.  Human Trafficking Heatmap and Polaris  A national anti-trafficking organization called Polaris created a heatmap on which Florida has been a hotspot for sex and labor human trafficking. Lori emphasizes the importance of raising awareness of the prevalence of trafficking within the United States, involving both international and domestic victims. Positive Developments Lori feels hopeful about the growing partnerships between private sectors and anti-trafficking organizations and is optimistic about the legislative progress in criminalizing sex tourism.  Bio: Name: Lori L. Cohen Title: Chief Executive Officer, Protect All Children from Trafficking (PACT) Lori Cohen has been serving as CEO of PACT since November 2019. PACT is the leading policy organization on child sex trafficking in the nation, and a member of the ECPAT International network, active in over 100 countries and dedicated to the prevention of child sex trafficking and exploitation.    PACT's mission is to protect every child's right to grow up free from sexual exploitation and trafficking through education, outreach, and private-sector engagement. PACT's work in travel and tourism is renowned and features free, online training to identify and safely report trafficking that has been completed by over 1 million members of the hospitality industry.   Before joining PACT, Ms. Cohen founded a program at a leading domestic violence services organization to offer legal representation and holistic care to thousands of victims of human trafficking and related forms of gender-based violence. Drawing upon her experience in obtaining comprehensive care for her clients and observing ways in which their voices can be engaged to inform effective interventions, Ms. Cohen centers the survivor experience in PACT's work. She has garnered international recognition for her work with child and adult clients. Ms. Cohen is a frequent speaker on trafficking-related matters in the United States and abroad and has served on the University of Michigan Law School and Yale University faculty. She is a graduate of Yale Law School. Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Lori Cohen LinkedIn PACT ECPAT Training for professionals in the hospitality and travel industry The Toll-Free National Human Trafficking Hotline Number is 888-373-7888
55:48 1/23/24
201: A.I. Revolution: What Does it Mean for You? with George Bandarian
We are thrilled to engage in a conversation with George Bandarian today. George is an AI expert, a well-informed and seasoned Venture Capitalist, and a member of various communities focused on the future of entrepreneurship. He has owned several companies and now assists people in implementing AI.  Get ready to be amazed as we explore the remarkable possibilities AI holds! Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with George Bandarian On LinkedIn Untapped Ventures Contact George  Book Mentioned: The Age of Spiritual Machines, by Ray Kurzweil    
39:38 1/16/24
200: Trends & Transformations: An Exclusive Conversation with Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of the US Travel Association
We are both delighted and honored to have a legend in our industry joining us for our 200th podcast episode!  Geoff Freeman is the President and CEO of the US Travel Association. He is with us today to share his perspective on leadership and explore the strategic use of data in shaping the future of the travel industry. Get ready for an insightful conversation with a phenomenal leader. You will not want to miss this episode which is packed with valuable insights and wisdom from a true industry champion. Geoff’s Journey Geoff’s Washington journey spans 26 years. He spent most of that time working in various industries, including health insurance, pharmaceuticals, and travel. He joined the US Travel Industry Association in 2006 and has contributed significantly to initiatives like Brand USA and TSA PreCheck. He joined the American Gaming Association, where he successfully advocated for having the federal ban on sports betting removed. After leaving to navigate challenges in the consumer packaged goods industry during the pandemic, Geoff returned to his passion for travel, where he currently leads the US Travel Association. He is excited about the industry's potential and looks forward to shaping its future agenda in the years ahead. The Origin of TSA PreCheck The TSA PreCheck program was an initiative created to help overcome the inefficiencies and frustrations faced by travelers at TSA checkpoints around 2010. Recognizing the need for change, Geoff understood the importance of proactive problem-solving and the industry's role in collaborating with experts to develop a blueprint for a more effective system. The success of initiatives like Brand USA and Global Entry reinforced the potential for positive change, ultimately leading to the establishment of TSA PreCheck. Geoff credits the courage of individuals like John Pistole, the then-administrator of TSA, for embracing a different approach and making the program a rare win-win for travelers and the industry. Challenges in Visa Processing  Geoff points out that the lengthy waiting times for visa interviews in countries like Mexico, Colombia, and India deter potential travelers. He emphasizes the need for a more efficient and timely visa processing system and the importance of coordinating efforts across different government departments to create a more competitive and traveler-friendly visa system. The Impact of Delays and Cancellations  Geoff highlights the impact of delays and cancellations on travelers, attributing those issues to understaffing, outdated technology, and inadequate infrastructure. He believes that significant investments in technology, staffing, and infrastructure are needed to improve the overall efficiency of the aviation system. He urges travelers to become more demanding and less accommodating, pointing out the importance of having an aviation system that can meet the growing demands of post-pandemic travel. The Future of the Travel Industry  Addressing the future of the travel industry, Geoff provides insights into different segments, distinguishing between leisure travel, international inbound travel, and group/transient business travel. While leisure travel has been relatively strong, he sees signs of it plateauing and explains the importance of understanding the nuances within each segment. He underscores the need for the travel industry to prove the return on investment for group and transient business travel, advocating for more research to demonstrate the value of those activities.  A Renewed Focus on the Group Market Geoff explains that US Travel has renewed its focus on the group market, hiring a dedicated head of group travel to work on a strategic agenda that will contribute to the industry's growth and resilience. The Effort Needed to Prove the Value of Travel  Geoff highlights the ongoing effort needed to prove the essential nature and value of the travel industry and the need for the industry to break through the mindset that often perceives the travel industry as less noble than other sectors.  The Importance of Research Geoff highlights the importance of research and communication to ensure that policymakers and the general public fully understand and appreciate the value of the travel industry. Strategic Focus on the Group Market  Geoff has a clearly defined intention within US Travel to protect and grow the group market. He anticipates a cohesive effort within the group segment, with various initiatives aligned to champion its merits in ways not seen in recent years. His commitment to tangible evidence and a strategic agenda shows the importance of revitalizing the group travel sector and promoting its significance within the broader travel industry. Resilience of the Travel Industry  Geoff is optimistic about the resilience of the travel industry, particularly with the extraordinary demand for travel post-pandemic. Despite uncertainties regarding goods purchasing and other services, he believes the travel industry will continue to thrive. His confidence stems from his belief that what the travel industry offers aligns with evolving consumer desires and preferences. Bio: As president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Geoff Freeman is the leading advocate for the $1.1 trillion U.S. travel and hospitality industry. In this role, Freeman is charged with ensuring the industry’s full recovery from COVID-19, positioning the industry to seize emerging opportunities in a post-pandemic market environment, and further establishing travel as a vital economic force in the United States. Freeman is a seasoned association CEO with a proven track record of building successful organizations that unite member interests, grow member value, increase revenue, and unlock growth opportunities. Before joining U.S. Travel, Freeman was president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, the trade association for America’s $2.1 trillion food, beverage, and consumer products industry. During his tenure, Freeman launched a strategic campaign to transform the association into a powerful, modern advocacy organization to drive growth and deliver sound regulatory and legislative outcomes that benefit industry leaders and consumers. He also grew membership by 35 percent and boosted total revenue by nearly 50 percent. Freeman joined the Consumer Brands Association after serving five years as President and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). In that role, Freeman led a successful effort to reform and modernize the AGA, build public support for the gaming industry, and open new pathways for industry growth. Under his leadership, the AGA spearheaded a multi-year, research-driven campaign to demonstrate gaming’s broad support across the political spectrum and promote the industry’s role in spurring economic growth, job creation, and tax revenues in communities across more than 40 states where gaming is legal. That campaign created the tailwinds needed to advance AGA’s signature initiative achieved under Freeman – the legalization of sports betting in the United States. While leading AGA, Freeman drove a 200 percent increase in membership and doubled association revenue. Freeman previously served as COO of the U.S. Travel Association from 2011 to 2013, helping to conceive and lead a campaign that resulted in the passage of the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act, which was hailed as “the industry’s biggest legislative victory in a decade.” In the aftermath of 9/11, Freeman created a blue-ribbon panel headed by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, to analyze how to improve travel security without compromising travel efficiency. This effort led directly to the creation of TSA PreCheck. Both the Travel Promotion Act and TSA PreCheck demonstrate Freeman’s ability to identify industry opportunities, craft a winning policy response, and drive campaigns that succeed in gaining broad support among diverse stakeholders. Freeman’s previous experience includes roles at APCO Worldwide, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and Freddie Mac. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Freeman lives in Arlington, Va., with his wife and three children.       Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Geoff Freeman LinkedIn  US Travel Association  
33:53 1/9/24
199: Tech and Israel Advocacy: A Conversation with Hillel Fuld
The Business of Meetings – Episode 199 - Tech and Israel Advocacy: A Conversation with Hillel Fuld We are honored today to engage in a discussion with the extraordinary Hillel Fuld!  Hillel is a tech journalist, technology expert, and startup marketer who has been instrumental in transforming Israel from a startup to a scale-up nation. Forbes has named him Israel’s top marketer.  Since October 7th, Hillel has become a prominent voice, channeling his energy, time, and network toward advocating for Israel. With a social media presence reaching over 250 million people, his tweets are a powerful vehicle for his activism. Stay tuned to hear Hillel's views on tech, AI, and the current situation in Israel. Hillel’s Journey Originally from New York, Hillel moved to Israel as a child. He developed a passion for technology long before it gained widespread popularity. He decided to start writing after he became bored with his first job, even though it was not a business-generating venture. Inspired by his insights, entrepreneurs began seeking his help, ultimately shaping the path leading him to where he is today. Israel's Tech Leadership  Israel has risen exceptionally in the tech world. Despite all its challenges, it continues to dominate various sectors, demonstrating remarkable resilience and innovation. Navigating Anti-Israel Sentiments Anti-Israeli sentiments continue to prevail worldwide. Hillel finds it paradoxical that countries are calling for boycotts while benefiting from Israeli technology.  Addressing Misconceptions and Lies  Hillel passionately challenges the misconceptions and lies surrounding Israel, particularly those propagated by BDS movements. He provides counterarguments to accusations of occupation, genocide, and apartheid, shedding light on the historical context and offering a different perspective. Personal Tragedy and Advocacy A Palestinian terrorist murdered Hillel’s brother, Ari. That tragic loss has fueled his commitment to advocating for Israel. Since October 7th, he has been using his platform to educate people and counter misinformation.  Global Impact and Positivity  Hillel’s advocacy efforts have reached millions, and he has received messages from people acknowledging a shift in their understanding of Zionism. Despite the ongoing challenges, he remains dedicated to providing accurate information and spreading positivity. Historical Patterns and Clash of Civilizations Throughout history, Jewish communities have faced challenges as empires grew stronger. Eric and Hillel view the current Israeli situation as a clash between the Western world and radical Islam. Tech and AI in Warfare Modern warfare has evolved. Hillel points out that technology has played a more significant role in the current war than in any previous war. Israel has been using technologies for facial recognition in tunnels and to detect crypto fraud when people transfer money. Hypocrisy and Contradictions Hypocrisy and contradictions exist within the anti-Israel narrative. Examples include the simultaneous claims that Palestinians deserve a state while supporting violence against Jews.  Resilience and Love for Life  Despite all the challenges, Israelis still maintain their love for life and continue innovating and contributing positively to the world. The LGBTQ Palestine Contradiction  Hillel finds it ironic that many LGBTQ individuals support Palestine, considering the dangers faced by LGBTQ individuals in Palestinian territories.  Maintaining Identity and Connection to Israel  Hillel advises Jewish people across the world to maintain a connection with Israel. He believes that despite the challenges, Jewish people must continue speaking up and preparing for their return to Israel. Call to Action and Support  Hillel remains fully committed to the cause and would welcome the assistance of anyone else willing to contribute in a meaningful way. Bio: Hillel Fuld Dubbed Israel's top marketer, Hillel works with leading tech entrepreneurs, investors, and visionaries to accompany them on their journey from idea to revenue. Hillel's work is published in some of the world's top tech publications including TechCrunch, Venturebeat, Inc, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, Business Insider, and more, bringing Israel's energetic tech scene to life. He collaborates with leading global brands including Google, Oracle, Microsoft, and Nike. Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Hillel Fuld On his website LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Instagram
44:07 1/2/24
198: 7 Key Domains to Grow and Run your Event Business with Eric Rozenberg
The Business of Meetings – Episode 198 – 7 Key Domains to Grow and Run Your Event Business with Eric Rozenberg   Today, Eric explains how he builds businesses and helps other business owners build theirs.  Drawing from his extensive experience, he reviews the seven key areas crucial for growing and operating an event business. He also suggests one book for each domain that will be helpful in that particular area.   Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website   Eric’s Recommendations: Business Model Generation by Alex Osterwalder  Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink Purple Cow by Seth Godin Simple Numbers 2.0 by Greg Crabtree The E-Myth by Michael Gerber Atomic Habits by James Clear
20:04 12/26/23
197: Shalom Motherfu**er with Eitan Chitayat
The Business of Meetings – Episode 197 – Shalom Motherfu**er with Eitan Chitayat We are honored to have Eitan Chitayat joining us today! Eitan spent many years in advertising and now owns a branding agency. In our conversation today, Eitan discusses his journey in advertising and the big names that have influenced him and offers insights into branding. He also shares his thoughts on leadership, courage, and how to make the world a better place. Stay tuned for a unique and thought-provoking discussion with Eitan Chitayat! Connect with Eric Rozenberg LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Eitan Chitayat On his website: Natie Branding Agency LinkedIn   
49:55 12/19/23
196: Prepare to Unlock a Year of Unparalleled Success with Eric Rozenberg
The Business of Meetings – Episode 196 - Prepare to Unlock a Year of Unparalleled Success!  Would you like to learn a magic formula that will ensure you pave the year ahead with success? Eric shares a strategy today that will guarantee you stay on track for prosperity in the coming year. In today’s episode, he explains how he organizes his time, sets his priorities, and, most significantly, holds himself accountable for the tasks he undertakes. Join us today to learn about Eric’s game-changing formula, designed to sidestep all the pitfalls and pave the way for a truly successful and fulfilling year. Stay tuned for a conversation packed with insights and practical tips! Defining Your Ideal Week  To kickstart a successful year, begin by planning your ideal week. You can use tools like Excel or any other planning software to create a one-page overview of your week, from morning routines to business priorities and personal activities. Blocking out dedicated time for everything you have to do will ensure your week is balanced, purposeful, and aligned with your goals. Analyzing Time and Delegating Effectively  Next, you need to look at the critical aspect of time management. Eric suggests keeping a detailed record of all your daily activities for a few weeks and categorizing them into “do," "delegate," and "stop" columns. That will help you identify any areas that require improvement, let you delegate tasks efficiently, give you the time to focus on essential activities, and eliminate all the non-productive elements. Setting and Reviewing Goals To avoid setting and forgetting your yearly goals, Eric emphasizes the importance of doing regular reviews. Breaking down your long-term goals into quarterly milestones will ensure you stay aligned with your objectives. Adopting this approach will facilitate your smooth transition from yearly planning to monthly, weekly, and daily planning, making your goals more manageable and achievable. Time Blocking and Priority Reflection  It is essential to incorporate your goals into your calendar. All your commitments, whether personal or professional, should be scheduled to reflect your priorities accurately. The strategy of time blocking will ensure that crucial tasks are allocated the necessary attention and do not get lost in the hustle and bustle of your daily activities. Daily Planning  Reviewing your schedule for the upcoming week every Sunday will help you to facilitate your daily planning. You can also identify three crucial tasks each evening that will constitute a win for the next day when accomplished.  Accountability Eric emphasizes the importance of being accountable and explains that most successful individuals have a coach or an accountability partner. Checking in regularly with an accountability buddy will ensure you get the support and motivation you need to stay on track and achieve your goals. The roadmap to a successful year involves a strategic blend of weekly planning, effective time management, goal setting, time blocking, and daily accountability.  Eric’s comprehensive approach will lead you to a more purposeful and fulfilling year. Bio Eric Rozenberg Eric Rozenberg is an acquisition entrepreneur, trusted advisor, speaker, podcaster, and two-time Amazon bestselling author. Eric has helped thousands of entrepreneurs grow and manage their business better. His purpose is to inspire people with integrity and honesty, help them take action, get results, and develop their businesses and their lives. For two decades in a previous life, Eric has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and produced award-winning sales meetings, incentive trips, product launches, and conferences in more than 50 countries across diverse industries. He believes organizations must create meetings and events that are not only breathtakingly memorable but also bring corporate strategies to life and amplify team motivation/performance. His podcast, "The Business of Meetings", is the first podcast in the Meetings and Events Industry dedicated to business owners. Every Tuesday, listeners learn something new they can apply in their business and/or get inspired by amazing guests. His first book, Meeting at C-Level, is the first book on the Why of a meeting. It has been endorsed by 20 of the most influential leaders from the corporate and association worlds and helps professionals to position themselves as a strategic partner. His second book, Before It’s Too Late, A Love Letter to My Daughters and America, is a story of grit, perseverance, and courage. It describes why and how he and his wife brought their daughters to America and why it is the greatest country on Earth. Eric is a current member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and The Strategic Forum. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Demoucelle Parkinson Foundation in Belgium and was the first European to serve as Chairman of the International Board of Meetings Professional International (MPI), the largest professional association in the Meetings and Events Industry. He lives in Boca Raton with his wife Elsa, their three daughters Naomi, Shirel, and Tilia, and their dog Simba. Connect with him at www.linkedin.com/in/ericrozenberg. Connect with Eric Rozenberg On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website  
14:08 12/12/23
195: Differentiation: The Golden Key to Your Success with Mark Levy
The Business of Meetings – Episode 195 - Differentiation: The Golden Key to Your Success with Mark Levy We are delighted to have Mark Levy joining us today to discuss differentiation. Mark is the differentiation expert! He has worked with big names like Simon Sinek and Marshall Goldsmith, and he is the author of Accidental Genius, a book about using writing to stimulate great ideas, available in 11 languages. Mark also created a magic show that got rated even higher than Hamilton in New York! Join us to learn how to differentiate yourself through Mark's valuable insights and colorful stories. Bio: Mark Levy Mark Levy is a differentiation expert. The ideas Mark and his clients have created have been discussed and used by hundreds of millions worldwide. His clients include Simon Sinek (of "Start With Why" fame), the former head of the strategy unit of the Harvard Business School, and the founder of the famed cult TV show, "Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Mark is also a magician. A show he co-created, Chamber Magic, has run in New York City for 21 years and is ranked by TripAdvisor as the city's #1 live show, rated higher than even the musical “Hamilton." Mark has written for The New York Times, and one of his books, Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content has been translated into eleven languages. He can be reached at LevyInnovation.com. Mark's Journey Mark has had diverse experiences throughout his journey to becoming an expert in differentiation. He honed his skills as the former director of the third-largest book wholesaler globally, making over 25,000 pitches and selling over a billion dollars worth of books. Mark also gained a unique perspective on business strategies as a magician. He has worked with influential figures, like the former CEO of Popeyes and the President of UPS, where he combined his expertise in sales, magic, and business strategy. Logic and Illogic in Differentiation There are often pitfalls in excessive logical thinking because logic can sometimes lack the innovative edge that sets visionaries apart. Mark uses examples like Wikipedia and Red Bull to demonstrate how illogical approaches can defy all expectations and lead to groundbreaking success. He encourages business owners to balance logic and illogic when looking to differentiate themselves to stand out in the marketplace. Differentiation Process Mark outlines a four-step approach: Phase 1: This is the Schlitz beer phase. It involves discovery and the collection of ideas and insights Phase 2: The Barbie phase focuses on finding associations and meanings within all the collected material  Phase 3: The Captain Inferno phase entails crafting a compelling story around your chosen point of differentiation  Phase 4: The Philip Crosby stage is where you consistently practice and implement your differentiation  Mark underscores the importance of a thorough discovery phase because it allows exploration and creativity before you narrow things down to a compelling point of differentiation. Crafting a Differentiated Elevator Pitch To craft an elevator speech that effectively communicates your differentiation, Mark emphasizes the importance of starting the conversation in the universe of the listener by addressing a common problem or need. He advises against being too fancy initially and instead suggests revealing the category of your work or business. Then, you highlight your unique approach to clarify that you operate differently. The key is to engage the listener by addressing their concerns before introducing your distinctive elements. That will make them more receptive to your differentiation. The Schlitz Beer Story Claude Hopkins, a renowned advertising man, transformed the fortunes of the Schlitz Brewery by highlighting seemingly ordinary processes, like a 3,000-foot artesian well and triple steam cleaning, turning them into a compelling narrative. The story underscores the idea that what may seem run-of-the-mill to a business can be extraordinary in the marketplace if effectively communicated. The Barbie Phase For the Barbie Phase, Mark drew inspiration from the strategy of Richard Dickson, the CEO of Mattel, to move beyond the toy and game business into the pop culture business. The Barbie Phase is about committing to just one single idea and going all in on it. In exploring various aspects and potential representations of their business, companies can uncover unique angles that set them apart like Mattel did when they approached the Barbie movie, transforming a toy brand into a cultural phenomenon. The Importance of Exploring Outside Your Industry Mark suggests exploring businesses and brands outside of your industry. By observing and analyzing what different brands are doing, even in unrelated fields, you can gain valuable insights into differentiation strategies. Advice for Continuous Learning and Inspiration Mark advises business owners to actively observe and analyze brands outside their industry, noting differences and considering how the strategies they see might get applied in their businesses. He emphasizes the importance of business owners learning continuously and drawing inspiration from diverse sources to stay innovative and differentiate themselves from others in their fields. Connect with Eric LinkedIn Facebook Instagram WebsiteConnect with Mark Levy Website LinkedIn Email Mark Accidental Genius, by Mark Levy
40:07 12/5/23
194: Two Easy Ways to Increase Your Sales with Eric Rozenberg
The Business of Meetings – Episode 194 – Two Easy Ways to Increase Your Sales with Eric Rozenberg Today, Eric is excited to share two simple yet effective strategies to boost your sales substantially. He will also explain how to fortify your pipeline and refine your pitch.  These strategies are not only straightforward but also incredibly efficient. Get ready to reap the rewards after using these simple yet powerful methods for transforming your sales approach! Becoming a Strategic Adviser Positioning yourself as a strategic adviser rather than a logistical expert can be a game-changer. Becoming a strategic partner will allow you to demonstrate your power of understanding and address your clients’ core business concerns. Personal Accountability for Sales Success Personal accountability plays a pivotal role in increasing sales. During a conference, Eric noticed a surprising need for more commitment among sales professionals toward dedicating just one hour daily for prospecting and client outreach. One hour per day equates to reaching out to approximately 800 people annually. Your calendar reflects your priorities, and by making this small and impactful commitment, you position yourself to expand your network and increase business significantly. It is a straightforward strategy, yet it often gets neglected. Implementing just one hour each day of focused effort will allow you a proactive stance in shaping your success and positively impacting your sales. Two Fundamental Principles Success in sales depends on two fundamental principles: Being a strategic adviser  Maintaining personal accountability  Take Action Now You can begin integrating these simple and effective strategies into your approach immediately. Understanding and addressing your clients' core business needs and committing just one hour daily to outreach are tangible and actionable steps toward enhancing your sales.  Remember, success is within your control, and there is no better time than now to start implementing these strategies and witnessing the positive impact on your business.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! Bio Eric Rozenberg Eric Rozenberg is an acquisition entrepreneur, trusted advisor, speaker, podcaster, and two-time Amazon bestselling author. Eric has helped thousands of entrepreneurs grow and manage their business better. His purpose is to inspire people with integrity and honesty, help them take action, get results, and develop their businesses and their lives. For two decades in a previous life, Eric has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and produced award-winning sales meetings, incentive trips, product launches, and conferences in more than 50 countries across diverse industries. He believes organizations must create meetings and events that are not only breathtakingly memorable but which bring corporate strategies to life and amplify team motivation/performance. His podcast, "The Business of Meetings", is the first podcast in the Meetings & Events Industry dedicated to business owners. Every Tuesday, listeners learn something new they can apply in their business and/or get inspired by amazing guests. His first book, Meeting at C-Level, is the first book on the Why of a meeting. It has been endorsed by 20 of the most influential leaders from the corporate and association worlds and helps professionals to position themselves as a strategic partner. His second book, Before It’s Too Late, A Love Letter to my Daughters and America, is a story of grit, perseverance, and courage. It describes why and how he and his wife brought their daughters to America and why it is the greatest country on Earth. Eric is a current member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and The Strategic Forum. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Demoucelle Parkinson Foundation in Belgium and was the first European to serve as Chairman of the International Board of Meetings Professional International (MPI), the largest professional association in the Meetings and Events Industry. He lives in Boca Raton with his wife Elsa, their three daughters Naomi, Shirel, and Tilia, and their dog Simba. Connect with him at www.linkedin.com/in/ericrozenberg. Connect with Eric On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website
12:42 11/28/23
193: Five Steps to Define Your Business Vision with Eric Rozenberg
The Business of Meetings – Episode 193- Five Steps to Define Your Business Vision with Eric Rozenberg Today, Eric shares a game-changing tool he uses for helping and advising people and coaching business owners. He used the same exercise to help him visualize and map out the future course of his current business. Prepare to be amazed by the incredible results and clarity of direction this process brings you when you put it into practice!  From Shock to a Life-Changing Vision In March 2020, during an annual retreat with his EO group, Eric recalls sitting around a campfire and experiencing the initial shock of sports cancellations due to the onset of COVID-19. Interestingly, the theme of the retreat was envisioning your life in 2030. Eric joined the retreat without any expectations and was pleasantly surprised by the life-changing nature of the process he learned there. Since then, he has often returned to the exercise and reflected on what he wrote during the retreat. A Comprehensive Approach to Shaping the Future of Your Business This exercise is a comprehensive yet straightforward approach to envisioning and shaping the future of your life and business. To make the process more practical, we have broken it down into five manageable steps and aimed it toward 2030: Start by identifying and categorizing the different areas of your life into seven different categories, like health, work, finances, fun, family, and personal development. Once you have defined those areas, rate your current standing within each area in terms of where you are today compared with where you would like to be in 2030, and then set goals for 2030. Create a visual representation, like a chart or graph, to further clarify your goals. Dedicate time to outlining three concrete actions you will take for each area within the next 12 months to propel yourself toward your 2030 goals. It could involve anything from lifestyle changes to professional development initiatives.  Make a list of questions based on how you want your life to be in 2030. Start by thinking about every area of your life, and then list a conclusive series of questions about all of those areas. The questions should cover where you want to live, your relationship aspirations, career achievements, legacy goals, and anything else you hope for. Take all the time you need to answer these questions. Choose a specific day or date in 2030 and describe it as a day in your life. Take all the time you need to vividly depict that day, incorporating all the details you gathered while answering the previous question. This part of the exercise may only take a few hours, or you may need multiple sessions to complete it. By approaching these five steps systematically, you can transform this seemingly overwhelming exercise into a practical and transformative tool for long-term planning. Remember, the key is to let the process unfold gradually. You may need to revisit the process from time to time, to refine your vision.  If you have any questions or need guidance, reach out to Eric. He will provide all the support you need.  If you embark on this journey enthusiastically, you will be astounded by all the remarkable results and newfound clarity it brings into your life and business. Bio Eric Rozenberg Eric Rozenberg is an acquisition entrepreneur, trusted advisor, speaker, podcaster, and two-time Amazon bestselling author. Eric has helped thousands of entrepreneurs grow and manage their business better. His purpose is to inspire people with integrity and honesty, help them take action, get results, and develop their businesses and their lives. For two decades in a previous life, Eric has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and produced award- winning sales meetings, incentive trips, product launches and conferences in more than 50 countries across diverse industries. He believes organizations must create meetings and events that are not only breathtakingly memorable but which bring corporate strategies to life and amplify team motivation/performance. His podcast, "The Business of Meetings", is the first podcast in the Meetings & Events Industry dedicated to business owners. Every Tuesday, listeners learn something new they can apply in their business and/or get inspired by amazing guests. His first book, Meeting at C-Level, is the first book on the Why of a meeting. It has been endorsed by 20 of the most influential leaders from the corporate and association worlds and helps professionals to position themselves as strategic partner. His second book, Before It’s Too Late, A Love Letter to my Daughters and America, is a story of grit, perseverance, and courage. It describes why and how, he and his wife brought their daughters to America and why it is the greatest country on Earth. Eric is a current member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and The Strategic Forum. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Demoucelle Parkinson Foundation in Belgium and was the first European to serve as Chairman of the International Board of Meetings Professional International (MPI), the largest professional association in the Meetings and Events Industry. He lives in Boca Raton with his wife Elsa, their three daughters Naomi, Shirel, and Tilia, and their dog Simba. Connect with Eric LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website  
13:48 11/21/23
192: Great Storytelling Doesn't Require Slides with Nir Zavaro
We are delighted to introduce the multi-talented Nir Zavaro as our guest on today’s episode!  After running his own agency, Nir decided to shift his business and go into teaching. With a multifaceted background working for various companies in sales, business development, novel writing, and teaching thousands of students, he has become an expert in communication and marketing. He is now launching his latest book, F*ck the Slides, which is about the art of storytelling and its persuasive power. Nir is a master of storytelling, marketing, and communication. He joins us today to discuss his new book and share his business insights.  Bio: Nir Zavaro is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker. He regularly tours the world and has a mission to help as many people as possible become better storytellers. Using his experience, storytelling fundamentals, and methods, he brings a fresh perspective on how to implement these into businesses, working with founders and CEOs in over 30 countries.  After a career in the retail industry serving in various roles, Nir founded Streetwise Creative Sales Agency specializing in outsourced marketing services. Founded in 2011, the company has worked with hundreds of brands.  Teaching is a major part of his passion. Since 2014, he has been a resident lecturer in leading universities and colleges, teaching regular courses about branding and marketing and new venture creation and sharing the concept of F*ck the Slides. He gives his time mentoring in several hubs and accelerators, helping companies improve their story, brand messaging, pitch decks, and marketing tactics. With two novels under his belt, F*ck the Slides is his third book, and the plan is to keep publishing many more, both novels and self-help books.  Nir has been involved in several businesses, from online to partner in several successful food and beverage businesses. Today, he sits on the advisory board for startups, supporting their brand and marketing efforts. He is meeting with entrepreneurs all over the world with his workshops about storytelling, branding, marketing, and sales. He has worked with Microsoft, Unilever, EO, Tech stars, and many others, helping them craft a better story. Nir’s Journey Nir's journey has been a blend of learning and teaching. As an avid reader, he thrives on acquiring new knowledge, believing in its transformative power. Over the past decade, he has shared his wisdom as an educator in universities and colleges. His book, F the Slides, conveys his two-year journey of refining his thinking. Nir published his book to empower people to learn independently, and it became a number one best-seller on Amazon for meetings and presentations. Even though he is not allowed to promote the book, he remains steadfast in his mission, driven by his belief in the value of his methodology, choosing to focus on being a product and marketing expert rather than a self-promoter.  The Power of Words and Emotions In the dynamics of language, the perceptions of some words can vary across cultures. Strong or profane words, in particular, carry different connotations in various parts of the world, eliciting diverse reactions when public figures use them. Nir emphasizes the importance of choosing words carefully to evoke emotions and capture the attention of an audience. Storytelling as a Skill Nir leveraged his journey of teaching startups to tell compelling stories and develop his concept of a trailer pitch. A trailer pitch is a concise three-minute presentation designed to ignite the curiosity and interest of an audience. Nir highlights the importance of preparing a powerful narrative to make an emotional impact while using visuals and keywords as effectively as possible. He compares the limitations of the traditional approach of bombarding presentations with information with the power of telling a well-crafted and enthralling story. From Startup Pitches to Keynote Presentations Nir’s methodology can be applied to many different presentation scenarios, including startup pitches, corporate meetings, and keynote presentations. He stresses the value of having a well-structured story and eliciting emotional audience resonance within all those contexts. He also highlights the importance of practicing and adapting to different presentation lengths. Connecting and Sharing through Language Nir explains that the power of storytelling goes beyond professional presentations and extends to everyday conversations, sales meetings, and more. He emphasizes the importance of creating an emotional connection with the audience, whether it is a potential investor, a class of students, or a large crowd at a keynote event. He encourages individuals to develop their storytelling skills because it enables them to inspire others while engaging with them. In Conclusion Nir highlights the profound impact words and storytelling have in communication and calls attention to the practical application of storytelling as a vital skill in various presentation contexts. The overarching theme throughout today's conversation is that words, when wielded effectively, can elicit emotions and make a lasting impression on the audience, ultimately influencing the success of any pitch or presentation. Connect with Eric LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Nir Zavaro Website YouTube Linkedin Instagram Medium F*uck the Slides Creating A Winning Pitch Using Storytelling  
33:56 11/14/23
191: How to Build a Thoughtfully Fit Culture with Darcy Luoma
We are delighted to have Darcy Luoma joining us today! Darcy is the author of the book Thoughtfully Fit. She has spent many years as a coach, training teams and organizations to work better and achieve thoughtful fitness in all their professional endeavors. Today's discussion is based on Darcy’s extensive research, coupled with her practical experience. She joins us to shed light on the principles and strategies that form the foundation of becoming thoughtfully fit within a business setting. Bio: Darcy Luoma, CPCC, CSP, MCC, BCC, ORSCC, MSOD is the CEO of Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting, a company that specializes in creating high-performing people and teams. She’s a sought-after coach and consultant who has worked in forty-eight industries, with more than five hundred organizations, impacting tens of thousands of leaders and employees. Darcy is the author of Thoughtfully Fit: Your Training Plan for Life & Business Success, published by Harper Horizon. Darcy has been coaching since 2004. She is one of America’s most highly credentialed coaches, having earned the prestigious Master Certified Coach certification from the International Coach Federation, a distinction held by less than 4% of coaches in the world. In 2012, the University of Wisconsin–Madison sought out Darcy to design its rigorous nine-month Certified Professional Coach training program. She has served variously as the program’s director, lead instructor, and director of training and quality assurance since its inception. Before Darcy founded her business in 2013, she served as the director of U.S. Senator Herb Kohl’s office for twelve years, did national advance work for the White House, worked for two presidential campaigns, and served as a trusted senior advisor to a governor. Darcy has a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University. She received the distinguished Certified Speaking Professional™ award from the National Speakers Association, the largest speaker association in the world. She has spoken at more than five hundred events, in front of audiences ranging from five to five thousand. For the last twenty-five years, she has been an avid triathlete and Ironman. She uses her grit and determination in both her athletic and professional endeavors. Along with her favorite job being a mom of two energetic teenage daughters, Darcy enjoys adventure travel, yin yoga, kickboxing, spicy chai lattes, and afternoon naps. Darcy’s Story Darcy's professional path initially led her into government and politics, working for a U.S. Senator for over a decade. However, in 2012, the senator she worked for retired without seeking to be re-elected. Then, a pivotal question from her coach changed her life and encouraged her to envision a future without regrets, and Darcy made a bold leap into entrepreneurship. With the support of her then-husband, who took on the role of a full-time stay-at-home dad, she launched her own business in early 2013, defying the odds of small business failure. Then, in March 2016, her life took an unexpected turn when her husband was arrested for a serious crime. Darcy found herself navigating a tumultuous legal system, undergoing a divorce, and suddenly becoming a single mother with sole custody. Amidst all the chaos, she embarked on a journey of healing and recovery, later writing a book about her experiences. She subsequently learned that everyone has traumatic experiences and has challenges and hurdles to overcome in life. Overcoming Challenges with the Thoughtfully Fit Model After Darcy’s husband was arrested, she had to test her concept of being thoughtfully fit. She emphasizes the importance of pausing, thinking, and then acting when faced with challenges and encourages people to have faith that things will be okay, even when it seems impossible. She highlights the significance of training and practices to develop thoughtfully fit responses and actions when confronted with adversity. A Practical Technique to Help with Pausing Darcy believes that it is essential to practice Thoughtfully Fit skills to be able to respond effectively to challenges. However, it is often hard to pause, especially when we witness an injustice or feel conflicted about our values. Darcy explains that everyone has different default responses, like pausing, thinking, or acting when facing challenges. She points out that our strengths can become weaknesses when taken to the extreme. She shares a practical technique called the Pause Pinch for those who struggle with pausing. It involves squeezing a reflexology point to reduce tension and calm the nerves. Navigating Conflict in Teams   Most successful teams have healthy conflicts, so it is essential to create a psychologically safe environment where teams can navigate their conflicts, disagree with one another, and voice their opinions respectfully. Darcy highlights the significance of articulating and planning for a psychologically safe culture within a team. Encouraging open dialogue, respecting differing perspectives, and addressing the aftermath of decisions contribute to building a harmonious and productive team culture. Healthy Leadership A team leader must consider the opinions of team members, make decisions, and ask what is required for team members to support those decisions. Darcy emphasizes the importance of addressing concerns immediately to prevent post-meeting discussions and triangulation. She explains that leaders should lead, follow, or get out of the way when responding to situations and team dynamics. Handling Toxic Team Members Darcy stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy team environment and preventing the spread of toxic behavior. Managing toxic team members who resist change or cooperation despite coaching and conversations can be challenging. If all attempts to address their toxicity have failed, the best action is to part ways with the toxic individual because allowing their behavior to persist could negatively impact the morale and culture of the rest of the team. Maintaining Work-Life Balance and Prioritizing Self-Care Darcy maintains her sanity and a work-life balance as a business owner and mother by setting boundaries, minimizing extensive travel, and prioritizing her workouts. She explains that her commitment to regular exercise contributes to her overall well-being. She discovered the strategy of delegating tasks and recognizing her unique abilities to improve her work-life balance and productivity, allowing her to focus on things that only she can do as the CEO and Founder of her business. Connect with Eric LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Darcy Luoma Website LinkedIn Book Mentioned Thoughtfully Fit: Your Training Plan for Life & Business Success, by Darcy Luoma
33:37 11/7/23
190: A Life Leading the Exhibitions Industry with David Dubois
The Business of Meetings – Episode 190 - A Life Leading the Exhibitions Industry with David Dubois We are delighted to be speaking with an industry legend today!  David DuBois has a career spanning several decades in the industry. He now holds the positions of CEO, President, and Publisher of the Exhibitor Group. In today’s enlightening conversation, David shares his insights on workforce development, the integration of AI, and the role of experiences for the future of our industry.  Bio: David DuBois is the president and CEO of Exhibitor Group and publisher of EXHIBITOR magazine. Before coming to Exhibitor, he was president and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events®(IAEE). As IAEE’s president, DuBois was responsible for managing 25 full-time professional staff, producing the annual business operating plan and budget, overseeing the support of all meetings of governance units, leading business development, directing fundraising efforts, advocating for the industry and the organization’s members, and providing organizational leadership and strategic counsel to the board. He also served as the association’s representative within industry coalitions, partner organizations and strategic alliances. In 2019, DuBois was inducted into the Events Industry Council’s “Hall of Leaders,” one of the industry’s most prestigious honors. David’s journey David’s journey began when he graduated from college and declined his father's offer to buy out their family's dry cleaning business. Instead, he opted to join his friend in enrolling at the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. That allowed him to spend thirteen years working for Sheraton and Ritz Carlton. Following that, he dedicated three decades to working with various organizations, including, PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association), MPI (Meeting Professionals International), Fort Worth Convention Visitors Bureau, and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. He has enjoyed a blessed career, and has made many friends along the way. David’s Advice on Personal Branding David offers invaluable advice on the concept of personal branding. He explains that a resume catalogs personal achievements, and a CV outlines backgrounds, so it is essential to consider those integral components of your personal brand. He emphasizes that every action and decision we make contributes to our personal brand, ultimately shaping how others perceive and respect us. His central message is that personal branding is a crucial element in a professional journey, so it is essential to cultivate your brand consciously from the outset. Embracing AI for Industry Advancement AI has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the meeting and events industry. While acknowledging the need for caution, David also emphasizes the importance of integrating AI into various aspects of event planning and execution. He explains that AI can enhance decision-making because it offers a hybrid approach that combines human intelligence with machine intelligence, allowing businesses to remain innovative and competitive. Addressing Workforce Development Challenges Workforce development is a pressing concern in the events industry. With over a million job openings in the hospitality sector, finding and nurturing talent is paramount. David points out that success in the industry does not necessarily require a college education but rather a combination of intelligence, commitment, and people skills. He believes there is an urgent need for a strategic outreach program to help cultivate a robust workforce. Crafting Unforgettable Experiences The role of experiences in the events industry is a central theme of today’s conversation. Drawing on the wisdom of author Jim Gilmore and his Experience Economy, David introduces the concept of experiential marketing. He points out that creating memorable experiences has been a pivotal element in the industry for decades. Those experiences are not limited to trade shows and exhibitions but also extend to incentive trips and consumer shows. The world is teeming with options, and incentive trips and consumer shows provide unforgettable and valuable experiences that are the key to event success. Attendees leaving those experiences are eager to return because they foster engagement and reinforce a sense of community within organizations or associations. Balancing Human and Machine Intelligence While AI holds much promise for the future, a balance between human and machine intelligence is necessary. David explains that while AI can process vast amounts of data and provide insights, it should serve as a tool to enhance human judgment instead of replacing it. Maintaining the equilibrium between human and AI intelligence is essential for the growth of the industry and its progress. Designing Unique Incentive Trips Incentive trips are a prominent aspect of the events industry. A common misconception around incentive trips is that they are simply luxury getaways. That is why they should offer experiences that participants cannot easily replicate for themselves. Incentive trips should celebrate top performers and reward them with unique and memorable experiences. That approach serves to boost morale, motivation, and a sense of belonging, making incentive experiences a crucial element in the success of any company or organization.  The Art of Creating Unique and Memorable Experiences With his wealth of experience in the events industry, David understands that unique and memorable experiences form the essence of what makes an event truly special. He points out that events are about crafting moments that leave a lasting impact, foster community, and build long-standing connections. Connect with Eric On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website Connect with David Dubois On Website On LinkedIn Books mentioned:  Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman   Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harare The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore  
32:03 10/31/23
189: Empowering Women and Heart-Centered Leadership with Suzette Bravo
The Business of Meetings – Episode 189 – Empowering Women and Heart-Centered Leadership with Suzette Bravo  We are delighted to have Suzette Bravo joining us on the show today!  Suzette is an empowerment coach dedicated to helping women and young ladies journey toward self-discovery and personal growth. With a passion for nurturing heart-centered leadership, she guides individuals to unlock their inner potential and embrace authenticity and self-love as the cornerstones of their success. She is also an accomplished author and host of the inspiring new podcast, Bravo Unscripted.  Today’s conversation encompasses a wide range of topics, from personal growth and mental health awareness to the power of sharing stories and supporting women and girls through meaningful organizations. We hope you will enjoy listening to our conversation with Suzette Bravo. Stay tuned as we explore her insights and wisdom! Bio: Suzette Bravo stands at the intersection of heart-centered leadership and deep personal empowerment. As an Empowerment Coach, keynote speaker, accomplished author, and the spirited voice behind the Bravo Unscripted podcast, she is deeply committed to helping women leaders forge meaningful connections, both with themselves and with those they inspire. Drawing from her personal journey and the resilience she cultivated along the way, Suzette's coaching has been a guiding light for many, steering them toward a place of authentic leadership and genuine self-love. Holding distinctions as an Elementum Certified Master Coach and a John Maxwell Certified Coach and Speaker, Suzette's holistic approach combines elements of self-leadership, confidence cultivation, and self-love. With over 25 years of invaluable experience in leadership and team-building, her credentials are backed by numerous coaching certifications, a degree in Business and Psychology, and deep expertise in mindset optimization, gut-brain health, and resilience-building. Committed to continuous growth, she is currently immersed in studying leadership psychology at Cornell University. Behind the microphone, she hosts "Bravo Unscripted," a podcast that celebrates everyday heroes with extraordinary experiences. As an author, she has contributed to "Activate Your Life" and the bestselling book “BECOMING YOU,” where she shares insights alongside other esteemed coaches. A nationally recognized authority, Suzette explores themes such as Heart-Centered Leadership, Resilience, Authenticity, and Self-Love. Beyond coaching, she mentors teenage girls through the "Women of Tomorrow" initiative and serves as the esteemed Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the PACE Center for Girls. Suzette's mission remains steadfast: to empower accomplished women leaders, helping them recognize and harness their innate strengths and potential. She aims to nurture a deep sense of self-worth and confidence, allowing these leaders to elevate their impact and inspire their teams. Always cheering from the sidelines, Suzette is devoted to supporting individuals as they craft extraordinary lives brimming with purpose and passion. Suzette’s journey Suzette's transformative journey and her current work with women and girls stem from a deeply personal place. Having faced significant childhood trauma and struggled through high school and early adult years, she sees herself as a supporter of the woman and girl she used to be. Despite her tumultuous past, she managed to graduate high school on time, leading what appeared to be a well-functioning life. However, when her husband was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in 2013 and passed away just eight days later, her world was shattered. That devastating loss forced her to confront the buried traumas of her past, leading to a profound healing journey. She embarked on a path of self-development and therapy, gradually shedding the I'm not good enough mindset she previously held. Through vulnerability and sharing her story with other women, she discovered the power of connection and healing. That realization led her to become an empowerment coach, focusing on supporting women and girls during their formative years to prevent the accumulation of toxic behaviors over time.  Suzette's journey demonstrates that within our stories and shared experiences, beautiful gifts and profound healing are waiting to be discovered. The Power of Taking Action  Suzette acknowledges the resistance she faced before when taking action. She explains that formulating ideas is necessary, but the real answers usually only emerge after action gets taken because that allows us to see how things unfold. Helping others and actively engaging in tasks can also be powerful ways to overcome difficulties and find a sense of purpose. Vulnerability and Mental Health Awareness Discussing vulnerability has become more accepted recently, but that has not always been the case. The power of having open conversations about mental health, seeking help when needed, and having a space where it is okay not to be okay should never be underestimated.  Loneliness It is essential to recognize loneliness as another significant mental health concern.  Self-Love  Suzette emphasizes the crucial role self-love plays in our ability to achieve goals and make sound decisions. Self-love can prevent self-sabotage and help us lead more fulfilling lives.  Catharsis Through Writing and Sharing Personal Stories Writing about traumatic experiences that happened in the past can be a cathartic process because it helps us to heal and gain a new perspective. Suzette participated in a collaborative book project and wrote a book, soon to be launched, where she delves into her personal journey and all the lessons she learned. The Bravo Unscripted Podcast  Suzette is excited about all the meaningful conversations she will have on her podcast, Bravo Unscripted. She will be featuring a diverse range of guests and their inspiring stories on the podcast, which focuses on connecting people and creating a movement where the shared stories and experiences of individuals can contribute to the healing and personal growth of others. Organizations Supporting Women and Young Ladies Suzette is involved with two organizations dedicated to empowering women and young girls. The PACE Center for Girls is an alternative school and counseling center in Florida, and Women of Tomorrow is an organization providing mentoring to high school girls. Both organizations focus on helping girls overcome challenges, find their greatness, and succeed in life. Connect with Eric LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Suzette Bravo Website LinkedIn Instagram Email Suzette: suzette@suzettebravo.com  Bravo Unscripted  
24:44 10/24/23
188: How to Measure Behavioral Changes, Learning and Development with Chris Taylor
The Business of Meetings – Episode 188 – How to Measure Behavioral Changes and Learning and Development with Chris Taylor Today, we have the great pleasure of speaking with Chris Taylor, the Founder and CEO of Actionable.co, a company at the forefront of revolutionizing how organizations measure the impact of their investments in learning and development.  There are many parallels and commonalities between the meetings and events industry and the work Chris is doing. He joins us today to discuss some valuable insights revealed in a survey, share stories, and impart the wisdom he has amassed throughout his journey. Bio: Actionable.co CEO Chris Taylor works at the leading edge of learning sustainment and impact measurement for progressive organizations. Described once by a client as "a curious blend of Boomer and Gen-Y”, Chris is often called upon to act as a bridge and translator between generations at work, our new state of constant change, and the impact technology has on team dynamics. He brings a self-deprecating sense of humor and groundedness to his keynotes and workshops, ensuring attendees leave inspired and well-equipped to drive real change back in the workplace. Through Actionable.co, Chris brings empirical evidence and stories to illustrate how we measure ROI on corporate learning initiatives and the systems to ensure every program creates a lasting impact. He has personally consulted with over 400 organizations across six countries in almost any sector you can name. In addition to being a regular speaker for both public and private events, Chris has penned over 150 articles for dozens of publications, been quoted in The National Post, Toronto Star, and Globe & Mail, and hosted 90+ thought leader interviews for the iTunes #2 ranked business podcast, The 21st Century Workplace. Chris’s story Chris embarked on his first business venture at the age of twelve. Later, with dreams of becoming a film producer, he pursued a path in film school, only to realize its challenges. He then shifted his focus to sales and marketing, discovering a profound passion for sales leadership and the art of selling. In his early 20s, he successfully ran his own business, but success got the better of him, and his arrogance led to its downfall, motivating him to embark on a soul-searching journey to understand where he went wrong. That journey disillusioned him with how information got consumed conventionally and drove him to explore the transformative power of how a different learning application could lead to changes in behavior, eventually leading him to create a training company. His company eventually evolved into a licensing business and became a software company. Actionable.co satisfied his desire to quantify and improve how learning gets applied.  Chris currently resides in Toronto with his wife and two children and frequently divides his time between Canada and Australia. Key Insights from the Survey on Achieving Impact through Training From a recent survey focused on achieving impact through training programs, several pivotal insights emerged, emphasizing the critical interplay between content, context, and personal relevance in driving successful behavioral changes.  Content-Context Balance to Elevate Training Effectiveness One of the central findings of the survey underscored the significance of the content-context ratio within organizational training programs. Traditionally, many training sessions focus on cramming as much information as possible into a limited timeframe. However, that approach often needs to pay more attention to the essential element of context. The survey revealed that the emphasis has to shift in order for training to lead to changes in behavior.  More Effective Training Sessions Training sessions should not merely deliver information but also provide an environment where participants can reflect and answer the fundamental question, "So what?”. For optimal results, training initiatives should allocate a minimum of three to one, ideally, five to one, in terms of time spent on context building versus content delivery. By affording participants ample time and space for self-reflection, the training becomes more effective in promoting meaningful change. The Power of Personal Relevance Executives may articulate why a change is vital at a high organizational level. Yet, genuine motivation for change only arises when individuals discern how that change would affect them personally. So, a connection between training content and unique aspirations, challenges, and objectives of every individual is required to foster deeper motivation and commitment to change. Training programs should create an environment that encourages participants to reflect on and internalize the content. Leveraging Meetings and Events for Organizational Impact For professionals in the meetings and events industry, the survey findings emphasized the potential for meetings and events to become instrumental in driving organizational impact. Events can serve as valuable touchpoints for organizations, effectively communicating their goals and objectives. Including meaningful content-context discussions and ensuring that the content resonates personally with the attendees allows meetings and events to become catalysts for changing how people behave within organizations. Demonstrating the Long-Term Impact of Meetings and Events Incorporating training and learning components into events presents an opportunity for organizations to showcase their long-term impact. By tracking the behavior changes of event attendees over time, organizations can establish a direct link between the event and outcomes such as improved employee retention, increased sales, or enhanced leadership skills.  The Power of Defining Event Objectives Defining a clear objective for an event and measuring its progress allows organizations to ensure that their event will drive meaningful change and align with strategic priorities. Integrating Training Components into Events for More Impact By integrating training and learning components into events and measuring their long-term impact, organizations can demonstrate the value of those initiatives and justify investing in them. Smaller Cohorts and Accountability in Learning Smaller cohorts of around five to eight participants are ideal for fostering engagement and driving change. Accountability partners also play a significant role in maintaining commitment to learning and change. Emphasizing one behavior change at a time and implementing accountability measures allows organizations to increase the likelihood of participants successfully applying their new knowledge and skills. Overcoming Business Challenges with Humility  An important lesson Chris learned was the value of seeking honest and sometimes critical feedback from trusted advisors. Surrounding yourself with people who challenge your ideas and provide candid assessments can lead to more informed decisions and ultimately contribute to resilience and business growth.   Connect with Eric LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Website   Connect with Chris Taylor LinkedIn Actionable.co website Actionable.co resources  
42:00 10/17/23
187: How People and Culture Build Value with Aaron Bludworth
The Business of Meetings – Episode 187 – How People and Culture Build Value with Aaron Bludworth We are delighted to be speaking with Aaron Bludworth today! He is a true thought leader who has massively impacted our industry! Until recently, Aaron was the CEO of Fern Expo. He joins us today to discuss his process of managing the company and selling it. He also shares his views on the future of the industry. Getting Into the Industry Aaron's initial introduction to the industry was largely accidental. While he was pursuing his education and working elsewhere, his uncle was working as an official contractor in the service sector of the industry. Aaron initially steered clear of the industry, even though his uncle kept mentioning all its potential opportunities. However, he eventually decided to try it out, thinking it would be a brief detour during his time in school. Yet, he is still there thirty-one years later! Joining Fern Aaron had been working for a private equity firm that recruited him when he started working at Fern. He joined Fern in 2008, initially as the Chief Operating Officer and eventually becoming the CEO due to the absence of a formal CEO. A while later, he found an investor, got a group of people together, and bought the firm. Sometime after, he took out the investor, leaving him with just the group of individuals within the firm. The Unique Culture of Fern Fern has a unique culture and history dating back 115 years. The company had a traditional image with a regional focus, and Aaron was committed to preserving the culture and the way the company focused on growth. However, it was challenging for him to find talent, customers, and acquisitions that aligned with the values and culture of the company. Balancing Culture and Corporate Consolidation  Aaron feels concerned about the increasing corporatization of the industry and how that could impact personal relationships and innovation. He emphasizes the need for a mix of large and small players to maintain the innovative spirit of the industry and personal connections. Navigating the Pandemic and Prioritizing People  Fern managed to weather the myriad of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was committed to its people and customers and focused on keeping employees engaged during difficult times. Their proactive approach included developing innovative solutions like Fern Health Check, which did vaccine and COVID testing to support their customers so they could resume their activities safely. The Speedy Recovery and Unexpected Growth  The post-pandemic recovery of Fern exceeded all expectations. Aaron attributes their rapid rebound to customer loyalty, winning new business during the pandemic, and introducing innovative products. Despite all their initial challenges with labor and supply chain issues, Fern still managed to achieve record revenue in 2022. Navigating a Sale Process  Aaron explains that emotional factors often come into play when selling a business, especially for sole proprietors. He cautions against entering the sale process with a specific monetary goal because that could lead to disappointment. Instead, he suggests that the timing should rely on having a viable, strong business and the right representatives in the market environment. Selling Fern Selling the business was a complex process. Aaron received offers from many potential buyers, including strategic and non-strategic buyers. He considered the long-term outlook in addition to the financial aspects of the business because he was looking for a buyer who would maintain the existing leadership team, treat customers well, and bring value to the table. While acknowledging the uncertainty of selling a business, Aaron aimed to set up a successful transition for his team and customers. Aaron’s Thoughts in the Transition Period  Between signing the letter of intent and closing the deal, his primary focus was on the impact the transition could have on his team and customers. He was concerned about ensuring a smooth transition for both parties and making the right decisions for the future of the business. The Ever-Changing Events Industry  Aaron worries about excessive corporatization as the industry continues to evolve. He mentions the importance of maintaining a mix of players to preserve the unique character of the industry, emphasizing the need to keep innovators, thinkers, and passionate individuals involved to ensure its continued growth and vitality. He hopes that personal connections, community, and innovation will remain integral to the industry as it evolves and faces consolidation, stressing the importance of smaller and more personal businesses in driving success and maintaining the unique character of the industry. Life After Selling a Business During the post-sale period, business owners often struggle with maintaining a sense of purpose and finding direction after exiting their businesses. Maintaining a Work-life Balance Business owners should maintain balance between business and other aspects of their lives rather than allowing their companies to become the sole focus of their existence. Promoting Innovation and Passion  Aaron underscores the need for the industry to keep innovators, thinkers, and passionate individuals involved to ensure its continued growth and vitality. Because of the positive impact of the events industry on his life and hopes he will remain connected to it. Connect with Eric LinkedIn Facebook Instagram  Website Connect with Aaron Bludworth LinkedIn Fern Expo
25:55 10/10/23
186: A New Approach to Online Marketing with Nicholas Kusmich
The Business of Meetings – Episode 186 - A New Approach to Online Marketing with Nicholas Kusmich We are delighted to have Nicholas Kusmich back on the show today! Nicholas is truly phenomenal! He is a seasoned expert in Facebook advertising and online marketing. He describes his role as one who helps information entrepreneurs scale their revenue and attract more clients effortlessly through fun marketing that does not suck!  In today’s conversation, we dive into business strategies, exploring ways to position our businesses most effectively. Nicholas explains how he operates as a professional marketer, tells inspiring stories, and shares insights into the profound lessons we can learn from unexpected challenges in life, like the harrowing experience he faced with his family during the Kelowna fire.  Join us as we engage in an enlightening and insightful discussion with Nicholas Kusmich, delving into the wellspring of wisdom and resilience he brings to his professional endeavors and personal life. We trust our conversation will leave you energized and inspired! Bio: Nicholas Kusmich, Founder of the H2H Media Group, is best known as a Leading Digital Advertising Strategist, and for having the highest ROIs in the industry (up to 30,973.32%). Working with A-List clients, including top thought-leaders, NYT Best Selling Authors, Top Inc 500, and fast-growth companies, he creates advertising campaigns that don’t suck and allows you to generate qualified leads without a funnel.  A Journey Fueled by a Desire to Help Others For all his life, Nicholas has been driven by a calling to help others and positively impact the world. His journey began with a religious experience during junior high school that significantly shaped his perspective on life and led him into the field of ministry. At nineteen, he was ordained as a minister, started a church, and spent fourteen years as a pastor. However, there were certain things he did not like about traditional religious institutions and he did not want to continue taking a salary from the church as his primary source of income. So he started a side hustle doing internet marketing to cover his expenses. He eventually left the church to work full-time with internet marketing and online advertising. Positioning Yourself as a Category King or Queen If you want to position your business as a category king or queen, you must distinguish it in the market rather than compare it with your competitors' businesses. Nicholas explains that being different can have more power in the market than striving to be better than others. That's why business owners should address their unique customer needs and problems and educate the market to recognize their distinctiveness. Understanding the Why Before Going Online  Nicholas explains that not everyone needs an online presence, and business owners should avoid following trends blindly or giving in to marketing pressure. Before they start the process of creating an online presence, business owners must consider whether or not they genuinely need one. They should also understand why they want an online presence and know their desired outcomes. That approach involves asking a series of questions to unearth their true motivation for seeking an online presence.  Selecting the Right Partner  When selecting the right partner for building an online presence in a competitive digital landscape, Nicholas recommends focusing on the who rather than the how. He suggests that businesses identify individuals or businesses that have been successful in their specific industry and have a proven track record of delivering results. He emphasizes the importance of asking for references from current and past clients to gain insights into working relationships, potential challenges, and overall satisfaction. Positioning in a Crowded Digital World  Establishing a strong online presence in today's competitive digital world can be challenging. Nicholas advises business owners to position themselves as an industry leader or category king by offering something unique and different from their competitors. He emphasizes the importance of understanding human behavior and psychology and suggests that businesses should focus on fundamentals rather than being overwhelmed by rapidly changing algorithms and technologies. When crafting their online presence, business owners should always prioritize human interactions and the psychology of their target audience. Educating the Market and Defining Problems  Nicholas uses examples like Uber and Netflix to illustrate how businesses can redefine their industries by addressing unmet needs and educating the market. He highlights the power of identifying problems customers may not know about and then offering a solution. That approach involves businesses educating customers about such problems and explaining how their unique offering addresses them. Successful positioning requires business owners to think beyond competing on price or value. Instead, they should focus on delivering a unique and valuable customer experience. Facing Disruption by Creating a New Category  By marketing existing problems, businesses can become industry leaders without directly advertising their products or services. Nicholas uses the example of Netflix to emphasize how category kings or queens present an existing problem in a new light, prompting customers to realize previously unaddressed issues. That strategy challenged the status quo and positioned them as innovators. Challenging the Conventional Sales Funnel  Nicholas advocates for rethinking marketing strategies and targeting the right audience by presenting unique solutions that resonate with potential customers and challenge conventional marketing wisdom. He questions the effectiveness of traditional sales funnels, explaining that funnels often slow the buying process by attracting seekers of information rather than solution seekers. For that reason, premium prospects and those who value their time when seeking solutions may find funnels unappealing.  Authenticity and Community in the Face of Adversity  Nicholas shares his experience of evacuating his home during a wildfire in Kelowna. In prioritizing his relationships over material possessions, he found a deeper appreciation for life. He emphasizes the importance of focusing on what truly matters when facing adversity and highlights the power of community and mutual support in times of crisis.  Conclusion The unique insights Nicholas shares today challenge traditional marketing approaches and highlight the importance of creating a new category to resonate with those seeking innovation and authenticity in their business strategies. Connect with Eric On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website Connect with Nicholas Kusmich On Website On Social Media: X (formerly Twitter) Facebook LinkedInGet a free copy of Nicholas’s bestselling book GIVE and subscribe to his newsletter  
47:34 10/3/23
185: 312 Million Views on YouTube and Counting with Judson Laipply
We are delighted to have Judson Laipply joining us on today's show! Judson is a legendary speaker who achieved viral stardom on YouTube with his video, The Evolution of Dance! Today, he shares the story behind his iconic video and offers us a glimpse into his fascinating journey after his video went viral. Judson has appeared on the Today Show, Ellen, Tosh. O, GMA, Oprah, and more. He is the world’s first YouTube celebrity, having had the most-watched video for four years. He has been speaking professionally for over twenty years and resides in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  Bio:  Judson Laipply M.Ed, CSP is an enigma wrapped in an anomaly contained inside a quandary. Combining comedy and content, laughter and learning, energy, and engagement, Judson gives his audiences immediate joy and lasting impact. He helps audiences understand the difference between change and evolution while teaching them to embrace struggles, and ultimately evolve. He has been featured on the Today Show, Ellen, Oprah, GMA, and more. He is the world’s first YouTube Celebrity and his finale “The Evolution of Dance” has over a billion impressions and was the first video ever to hit 100 million views. He’s been speaking and performing for over 20 years and has been all around the globe. He is also an Ironman Triathlete, terrible singer, and reformed Kool-Aid eater.  Judson’s journey Judson's journey mirrors the journey of many others who aspired to make their mark as professional speakers. What set him apart, however, was a fortunate turn of events that propelled him toward viral fame. Back in the 90s, professional speaking was still a relatively exclusive niche. Intrinsically outgoing and driven by a passion for engaging with people, Judson believed in the power of play as a tool for teaching, embracing Plato's timeless wisdom that an hour of play reveals more about a person than a lifetime of conversation. That belief drove him to seek opportunities, from working on a cruise ship as a youth coordinator to orchestrating evening events at a Colorado camp. Those experiences helped to hone his public speaking skills and expanded his horizons. Throughout his journey, Judson remained steadfast in his quest to make speaking a full-fledged career. That aspiration led him to graduate school, as he recognized that a master's degree would solidify his credibility and fortify his commitment to his chosen path. He took advice from a seasoned speaker, learning that the key to leaving an indelible mark lay in crafting memorable moments. Thus, the Evolution of Dance was born. It was a fusion of Judson’s modest dancing abilities and a powerful message about change and evolution destined to become an unforgettable hallmark in his career! A Compliment from a Choreographer The success of the Evolution of Dance video allowed Judson to experience incredible opportunities, including appearing in a Weezer music video. An LA choreographer praised his dance, acknowledging his lack of formal training but appreciating the joy and emotion he conveyed through his moves. That compliment marked a significant moment in his career as an entertainer and dancer! The Birth of a Viral Video His video was uploaded to YouTube in 2006. At the time, YouTube was still emerging as a popular website and viral videos were not as commonplace as today. His video gradually gained traction, becoming one of the first viral videos on YouTube. The timing was crucial because the popularity of the video coincided with the rise in prominence of YouTube. The Challenges of Going Viral Going viral was a roller coaster ride for Judson, filled with unexpected twists and turns. His video garnered millions of views, and he received numerous emails and messages from various platforms and media outlets. While tempting offers came in, his sudden fame also presented new challenges, like managing the influx of opportunities and distractions and making choices aligned with his long-term goals and identity as a speaker and influencer. Navigating Success and Opportunities His experience taught him the importance of staying true to his core identity and goals. Amid the overwhelming success and attention, he faced offers to pursue acting, reality TV, and other opportunities that could have taken him off his desired path. However, he chose to prioritize his passion for speaking and comedy, making strategic decisions to maintain his course while also enjoying the benefits of his viral fame. Appearing on Television Shows Judson had the opportunity to appear on various television shows, including Ellen, Oprah, and Good Morning America. His interactions with show hosts varied. Sometimes, he had limited interactions with hosts due to their busy schedules and other high-profile guests. Nonetheless, those appearances were significant milestones in his career, allowing him to reach broader audiences and share his unique brand. Monetizing Viral Videos Monetizing a viral video can be complex, particularly when it contains copyrighted music material. In Judson's case, the original Evolution of Dance video did not generate any direct revenue, as it was uploaded before the establishment of the YouTube partnership program and ad monetization. Regardless, Judson remains content with the cultural impact of his video and the opportunities it brought him without dwelling on the potential revenue it could have generated.  Building a Brand When building your brand, you must focus on your goals and maintain momentum.  Succeeding as a Speaker  Succeeding in the speaking industry involves the performance aspect of captivating audiences on stage and the often-overlooked business side of the profession. Judson took the advice of seasoned professionals to heart and set out on a five-year business plan to establish a strong foundation for his speaking career.  Transitioning into Corporate Settings In his quest to move into more corporate settings, Judson capitalizes on his experiences and research. His transition aligns with his desire to evolve his speaking career and explore new opportunities. How Comedy Has Changed Over Time While reflecting on the evolution of comedy over the past 15 years, Judson emphasizes the need for comedians to adapt to changing norms. He points out that shock comedy and humor targeting specific groups have become less acceptable. He praises comics like Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan, and Mike Birbiglia for their clean and relatable comedic styles.   Connect with Eric On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website Connect with Judson Laipply On LinkedIn On Website  
40:09 9/26/23
184: How Do 58+ Million American Households Spend their Holidays?
The Business of Meetings – Episode 184 – How Do 58+ Million American Households Spend their Holidays? Today, we are delighted to speak with David Basler, Chief Strategy Officer of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). In an industry boasting a trillion-dollar economic footprint, with 12 to 13,000 sites across America, and serving the vacation ambitions of over 58 million households, the ARVC plays a pivotal role in shaping and supporting the thriving world of RV parks and campgrounds.  David joins us to share his expertise, insights, and perspective on the current state and future potential of the dynamic RV and campground industry. Bio: A champion of whatever community he's a member of, David Basler is an entrepreneurial spirit, business leader, and philanthropist.  After working in publishing on the East Coast, David moved to historic Creede, Colorado in 2002 and started Creede Magazine Publishing, which he owned and operated until 2008. During this time, he also founded Keep Creede Beautiful, a nonprofit to maintain the beauty of Creede, and the John David Lentz Memorial Fund, which provides annual funding to the Creede Repertory Theatre.  After a 6-year stint with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) in Dallas, David, along with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs, moved to Denver in 2014. He is currently the Chief Strategy Officer for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, an organization representing more than 3,000 privately owned RV parks and campgrounds across North America. He and his wife, Amanda, are avid collectors of fine art and they remain extremely active philanthropically in the arts and education. Working alongside their oldest daughter, they lead both the John David Lentz Memorial Fund and the Genny Basler Memorial Fund. David also sits on the board of the Creede Center for the Arts and the advisory board of the Creede Repertory Theatre. When it's playtime, David enjoys fly-fishing, hiking, running, and travel, having visited all 50 states and more than 25 countries on three continents. David’s journey David's journey began in high school when he discovered his passion for writing and communications through the guidance of a dedicated teacher and joined a remarkable high school magazine project. That publication, unlike most other school newspapers, was a full-color glossy magazine that earned numerous awards. Joining the magazine staff led to lasting friendships, and the impact of that formative experience left an indelible mark on his career trajectory, underscoring the profound impact of mentorship and community engagement. After college, he worked as an editor on the East Coast before realizing his dream of starting his own publication in Colorado. That venture expanded into a successful publishing company, producing calendars and visitor guides, and becoming a vital part of the local community. Subsequently, David moved to Dallas and began working for MPI after selling his business. MPI During his time with MPI, David played a pivotal role in its publishing, marketing, and communications sectors. His efforts included overseeing the launch of One Plus, a rebrand of a magazine previously called Meeting Professional, aimed to educate and inform meeting professionals worldwide. The rebranding initiative persisted for about four years before the strategic decision was made to revert to the original Meeting Professional brand to align the publication more effectively with the identity of the organization and its members.  An RV Trip Planning Session  Eric and David had a serendipitous encounter that led to a memorable RV trip planning session. David drew on his expertise in the RV and campground industry to assist Eric in crafting an unforgettable journey that served as a testament to the industry's collaborative spirit and its emphasis on fostering a sense of community. The Flourishing RV and Campground Landscape  The RV and campground industry in the United States is economically significant, constituting approximately 2% of the GDP. The industry's consistent growth was underscored by an influx of new enthusiasts, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. David attributes the industry's appeal to its diverse accommodation options and the unique experiences offered within campgrounds. Championing the Industry  The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is tireless in its efforts to advocate for the RV and campground industry in Washington, D.C. Its endeavors mostly revolve around showcasing the considerable financial impact of the industry and the sway wielded by campground owners as influential voters. These advocacy undertakings focus on emphasizing the industry's significance to legislators and stakeholders. A Kaleidoscope of Campgrounds  The vast spectrum of campgrounds ranges from intimate, cozy sites to sprawling mega parks with thousands of slots. David highlights the pivotal role of diversity in catering to the varied preferences of campers. The ethos of campgrounds is centered on inclusivity, ensuring that every individual, regardless of background or preferences, can find a campground that resonates with their desires. Creating Lasting Memories  The transformative power of camping experiences is unparalleled! Campgrounds play a significant role in crafting enduring memories and fostering a profound sense of community among campers. The Industry's Forward Trajectory  David envisions a future where the RV and campground industry continue flourishing over the next decade. Despite potential hurdles, such as fluctuations in interest rates, the innate strength and resilience of the RV and campground industry are anticipated to weather any storm. Connect with Eric On LinkedIn On Facebook On Instagram On Website Connect with David Basler On LinkedIn National Association of National Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC)  
36:28 9/19/23